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Phytohormones for Bioprotection against Radiation Effects


Studies of Protection from Ionizing Radiation of Plant and Animal Organisms using Phytohormones

Tech Area / Field

  • AGR-PPR/Plant Protection/Agriculture
  • BIO-RAD/Radiobiology/Biotechnology

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Basic Biological Problems, Russia, Moscow reg., Puschino

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics, Russia, Moscow reg., Puschino\nVNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov\nInstitute of Protein Research, Russia, Moscow reg., Puschino


  • Institute of Structural Biology / Molecular Biophysics Laboratory, France, Grenoble\nToho University, Japan, Chiba\nColumbia University / Biosphere 2 Center, USA, AZ, Oracle

Project summary

At present all the living of the Earth endures various kinds of stresses due to developing industrial technologies, their careless usage and different ecological accidents. That is why of vital importance is the task of evaluating the genetic risk of radiation effect, protection of animal organisms and compensation for remote future after-effects of ionizing radiation on plants and animals.

The aim of this project is to study the effect of neutron and gamma (X-ray) radiation on plant (wheat, corn) and animal (mice) organisms and the search of phytohormones that efficiently protect them from radiation.

Animal and plant organisms have much in common in their response to radiation. For example, a similar response is observed in their structures carrying genetic information, as well as in the structures responsible for protein biosynthesis. As for the whole organism, radiation induces a decrease in its immunity, reduces its lifetime and causes emergence of oncogenic pathologies. These effects can emerge not only in irradiated parents, but in their progeny as well.

In this Project it is proposed to perform a study, which will be the first in radiobiological research, aimed at a complex comparative analysis of the following: (a) response to radiation of representatives of different evolution branches of plant and animal organisms; (b) effect of gamma- and neutron radiation varying in relative biological efficiency on these organisms; c)protection against the radiation both plant and animal organisms by phytohormones.

To this end, it is proposed to study the influence of ionizing radiation and phytohormones on plant and animal organisms at different level of their structure-functional organization:

(1) at the molecular level by the efficiency of the protein-synthesizing apparatus functioning in plants,
(2) at the cell level by structure stability in chloroplasts, ribosomes and mitochondria of plants,
(3) at the whole plant or animal organism level by the change of physiological and biochemical parameters,
(4) at the level of successive plant and animal generations wich are the descendants of irradiated parents on their induced genome instability

Though studied for a rather long time, the problem of protecting organisms from ionizing radiation has remained urgent. This is explained by the fact that effective synthetic radioprotectors damage organism when used. In our experiments we plan to use natural compounds as potential radioprotectors and modifiers, namely plant hormones including cytokinins that regulate cell pision. A new cytokinin of phenol nature (a potential free radical scavenger) isolated from phototrophic bacteria in our laboratory will be used in our experiments as well. This cytokinin has an enhanced biological activity for plants and, like classic purine cytokinins, can suppress transformed mammalian (M-HeLa) cell proliferation. It is proposed that due to the above features of cytokinins, and namely their nature (purine and phenolic), ability to initiate cytokinesis and provoke biological activity both in plants and animals, just these compounds can perform protective and modifying functions in plants and animals under ionizing radiation, because the crucial role in restoration of multicellular organisms is dependent on the processes of proliferation in surviving cells.

It is proposed that the methodology of a complex comparative analysis of the effect of ionizing radiation on plant and animal organisms at different levels of structure arrangement and ontogenesis as well as the use of phytohormones, natural compounds, as protectors from radiation effect and radiation consequences modifiers, would contribute not only to the theory of radiation injury of organisms, but also to the practical radiation medicine and agriculture.

The problems raised in the project would be solved by joint work of the Russian teams with the foreign collaborators. The collaboration will include the exchange of scientific information on the project and of reports on the project accomplishement, joint workshops for discussion of the current work, and participation in the technical check-up of the project accomplishement.

During the work on the project it is planned to combine the experience in physical and chemical studies with the use of neutron and gamma (X-ray) radiation of researchers from the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics and the treatments and methods in studying plants and animals of the Institute of Basic Biological Problems RAS (gasometry, fluorescent analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent analysis), Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics RAS (electron microscopy, PCR-analysis), Institute of Protein Research RAS (ultracentrifugation, dynamic light scattering).


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